Het Nationale Ballet presenteert

Positioning Ballet 10-12 February 2017

Deze productie was te zien in februari 2017

Ballet Working Conference

Parallel to Made in Amsterdam, Dutch National Ballet is organising Positioning Ballet: a private working conference that provides artistic directors, choreographers and dance journalists the opportunity to exchange ideas about the future of ballet.

All over the world, ballet companies represent the artistic top. They serve a large audience that also views them in this light, regarding the achievements of ballet companies as exemplary. Financially, too, ballet companies belong to the top of the arts sector. All of this involves great responsibility – the responsibility to continue to reflect on our own practices.

During the working conference, we will go into the following three themes in more depth:


The classical ballet idiom still forms a benchmark for the whole dance world – as a source of inspiration or as a point of departure. Ballet technique and ballet repertoire are important reference points for today’s dancers and choreographers.


How do we deal with the growing heritage? What does a ballet company present on stage and why?

  • The art of programming
    What is the role of the artistic director as a curator of the ballet collection? Which works are kept in the archive, based on which criteria? When is something still relevant? And when should it be revived?
  • Ballet as re-enactment
    How do you situate classics in the here and now? How do you keep the heritage alive? Do you make adjustments or is it sufficient to provide context in programmes, introductions and fringe programming?
    What responsibilities do ballet companies take in reviving classics in the context of current social discourse? Is adjustment to the spirit of the times desirable or necessary?
  • Heritage and innovation
    To what extent does the task of keeping repertoire alive sideline the desire for innovation?



How can ballet companies better reflect the diversity of the metropolitan society in which they operate? Which steps must be taken in order to make the ballet world more inclusive? It is a fact that the stark differences in our society run along the lines of ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation. During the working conference, we will focus primarily on ethnic and cultural diversity. We will also take a look at some good practices – projects that are successful in diversifying dancers, choreographers, organisation and audience.


What determines the identity of a ballet company in an age of globalisation? Companies are increasingly engaging in co-production, and choreographers and dancers travel all over the world. This requires individual companies to position themselves clearly. Is it still possible for ballet companies to reflect their geographical location? What does the ballet company of the future look like?


Saturday 11th of February

09:30 – 10:15        Walk-in
10:15 – 10:30        Opening
10:30 – 11:45        Talk & discussion: Heritage
11:45 – 12:15        Break
12:15 – 13:30        Talk & discussion: Diversity
13:30 – 14:30        Lunch
14:30 – 16:00        Talk & discussion: Identity
16:00 – 16:20        Short Break
16:20 – 17:00        Wrap up

20:15  Premiere: Made in Amsterdam 1

Sunday 12th of February

11:30 – 14:00        The next step! (guest speakers and lunch)
14:00                      Premiere: Made in Amsterdam 2
16:00                      Reception


Keynote speakers and panel members

On Saturday, the themes will be introduced by three leading keynote speakers, followed by a panel discussion by professionals from the dance world, moderated by Peggy Olislaegers, one of Europe’s most influential dance dramaturges.

Among confirmed keynote speakers are: Wiebke Huester (journalist), Theresa Ruth Howard (The Ailey School/journalist).

Among confirmed panel members are: Ted Brandsen (Dutch National Ballet), Laura Cappelle, (journalist), Assis Carreiro (Independent international cultural leader, former director Ballet Flanders), Monique Duurvoort (former dancer, MDdance), Yuri Fateyev (Mariinsky Theatre), Karen Kain (The National Ballet of Canada), Paul Liburd (former dancer, teacher at Rambert School), Kevin McKenzie (American Ballet Theatre), Kevin O’Hare (The Royal Ballet), Johannes Öhman (Swedish Royal Ballet), Krzysztof Pastor (Polish National Ballet), Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet), Alistair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells Theatre) and Luísa Taveira (Founding member and former Artistic Director National Ballet of Portugal).

On Sunday morning, there is an inspirational talk by Corinne Vigreux (Co-founder of TomTom and Managing Director of its consumer business) on how to implement change- and innovation processes within a renowned institute. The premiere on Sunday afternoon will be followed by a get-together.


Practical information

Positioning Ballet will take place at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, which is located at Amstel 3 in Amsterdam. Dutch National Opera & Ballet can be reached easily by public transport, taxi, car or bike. See this page for more information about how to get here: getting there.

We also would like to recommend the following hotels to you for your stay in Amsterdam:

NH Hotel Schiller
100 – 200 Euros per night per person. Please click here:
reserve online.

The Grand Hotel
200-300 Euros per night per person. Please click here:
reservation form.

Both hotels are within walking distance of Dutch National Opera & Ballet.

Restaurants in the neighbourhood:

Prins Hendrikkade 142 sous
1011 at Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 623 5477

Warmoesstraat 111
1012 JA Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 428 1111

Mata Hari
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 22
1012 DM Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 205 0919

Café Schiller
Rembrandtplein 24A
1017 CV Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 624 9846

The Lobby (nes)
Nes 49
1012 KD Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 662 3233